Using midlife crisis for good!


 First off let me thank you for signing on to hear updates from me about my graphic novel, By the Time I Get to Dallas. Many of you have already supported this project in ways large and small, and every bit of help and encouragement is enormous. This missive from my publishing entity, PitDocPress, will appear in your inbox every two weeks to entertain, inform and perhaps inspire as we go from a dream I had one night five years ago to a full-color printed graphic novel! 


Start at the beginning. 1980. First grade, Green Hedges Elementary School, Vienna, VA. Exterior establishing shot of an intimate, single story clapboard school, a half dozen classrooms strung together in a meandering train from kindergarten on one end through to a modest library and meeting room on the other.

Medium shot, first graders march to the library for weekly assembly. There I am, tortoiseshell corrective lenses and a tan velour pullover, waiting for us to recite the pledge of allegiance. Tighter as I approach a sky blue wooden shelf holding books for the little kids. Close up on my fingers running along each book spine, feeling for the mysteries they contain.

Interior, our suburban living room. First grade me leaning on coffee table with markers and paper, drawing a story about my stuffed animal, Floppy the Dog. Scribble the hell out of this paper with blue brown and red. One page leads to two becomes four and eight. It is so perfectly clear what I am saying about Floppy. It should be so perfectly clear to EVERYONE.

Interior, first grade classroom. My marker stained hands hold the jumble of pages that is my first book, or it would be if Mrs. Munn would just help me bind it. Bind it with a cover like the other books on the blue shelf in the library. Bind it and put it there next to them. Please Mrs. Munn, it can’t be that hard to do. Make it a REAL book.
End scene.

Or don’t end scene. Thirty-eight years later I guess I’m still that same kid.

It’s time to make my book REAL…
Take that, Mrs. Munn!
This is not the Floppy the Dog story.–editor
Art: Juanfrancisco Moyano; Ink: Dario Marin; Color: Jay Moyano


So now you know my secret, that I’m a 45-year-old doctor whose dream project is a comic book. You have permission to mock me, I can take it. But please email me back and tell me, if you wouldn’t mind, your dream project. I know what some of your are working on in your precious free time, and many of the folks on this mailing list have been my inspiration to keep plugging away. And I know others here who have projects in notebooks, in garages, even on 3.5-inch disks that are still waiting to see the light of day. In future blogs, with your permission, I’ll feature some of these projects as inspiration for the rest of us. 



Colin is an emergency physician in Boston, Massachusetts. The seeds of his comics project were sown when he took a sabbatical from the ER for creative writing. His creative non-fiction has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.